Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: March 2022

What is Sisters at Heart (SAH)?
SAH is an event held annually the first Saturday in August, the day before the Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival. This event typically brings teams together from the East Coast of the United States and Canada, but we do welcome any breast cancer survivor dragonboat team to join us for Sisters at Heart. It is a special day of paddling, camaraderie and a celebration of sisterhood for breast cancer survivor dragon boat teams and their supporters. Sisters at Heart takes place on Lake Champlain in Burlington, VT and is hosted by Dragonheart Vermont members.

When does the Sisters at Heart Celebration Weekend take place?
Our Sisters at Heart Celebration is always held on the first Saturday in August. The Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival takes place the first Sunday in August.

How much does it cost to participate? The cost for the entire weekend is:

  • $85 per person for a full boat (total $1785), which in 2022 will consist of 16-20 paddlers and a drummer.
  • $45 per person for a steers person (optional), any alternate paddlers and non-paddling BCS members, as well as friends and family who plan to join the lunch and other festivities on Saturday

When does registration open?
Registration Opens March 7, 2022

What is included in racer registration for this event?
Up to 20 Registered Paddlers and 1 Drummer, in addition to a Personal Page to share your and your team’s story,  will receive:

Saturday (includes 500m ERDBA sanctioned races)

  • On land experiential movement workshop
  • On water paddling workshop led by Montreal’s 22 Dragons
  • Catered Lunch (includes presentations of team cheers/songs)
  • Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Social
  • Sisters at Heart Participatory medal
  • Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival t-shirt

Sunday (includes 200m BCP division races, also ERDBA sanctioned)

  • Flowers for the Flower Ceremony
  • Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival participatory medal
  • Medals for 1st 2nd and 3rd place finishers

What is included in registration for other race participants and non-paddling attendees?

  • Saturday’s on land movement workshop
  • Our catered lunch on Saturday and the opportunity to enjoy the team cheers and songs
  • Ben & Jerry’s ice cream on Saturday
  • Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival t-shirt and Sunday’s Festival activities

Are fees refundable?
No, all fees are non-refundable

What are your COVID-19 Protocols?

  • Dragonheart Vermont requires all team paddlers and event participants to be fully vaccinated and up-to-date on boosters
  • In addition, SAH and LCDBF will follow COVID guidelines put forth by the City of Burlington and the State of Vermont. These guidelines are subject to change.

What is the Paddling Workshop?
The paddling workshop is an on-water coaching session that is focused on paddling techniques and led by experienced and renowned dragon boat coaches, including 22 Dragons of Canada.

What is a Movement Workshop?
A movement workshop is a land based experiential offering led by a local Vermont instructor. We offer these workshops with an eye toward fun and fitness off the water! On Saturday morning, half the registered teams will be on the water in a paddling workshop while the other half will be on the land in a movement workshop. Both groups (A and B) will experience both offerings.

Who can participate in Sisters at Heart Celebration?

  • This event is for breast cancer paddler dragon boat teams.
  • Non-paddling breast cancer survivors, as well as friends and family members, are welcome to register for the weekend events as non-paddlers.

Can a team that is not all BCP take part?
Possibly, if there is room available. It should be understood that a registered team not comprised solely of breast cancer paddlers can participate in all activities, but will not qualify for ERDBA or BCP medals and trophies.

Can I participate if my breast cancer survivor dragon boat team doesn’t register?
The Sisters at Heart Celebration is designed for team participation. Please email us at [email protected] if you are a breast cancer survivor and part of a dragon boat team, but your team is not coming and you wish to participate.

What should we bring?

  • A canopy so you and your teammates have a shady place to gather; 10′ x 10′ works well for your 15” x 15’ site,
  • Water bottles! We will have a water truck with free water available both Saturday and Sunday.
  • A team chant, song, or spirited cheer to share with other SAH teams at lunch on Saturday.
  • Decorations! Participate in Sunday’s Spirit Competition for the best decorated site!
  • Other good ideas: camp chairs, coolers, towels, rain gear, and warm jacket/pants just in case.
  • Paddles and PFDs if you’d like, though we will have plenty available for your use.

Do we need a steersperson? 

  • If not competing for ERDBA or a BCP medal, we can provide you with a steersperson. We cannot guarantee that the steersperson we provide will be a breast cancer paddler.
  • In order for your team to meet ERDBA requirements, you must be BCP from stem to stern, including the steersperson and drummer.

Can we bring our steersperson?

  • Absolutely. Your steersperson can steer for your 500m and 200m races, if pre-approved for steering on Lake Champlain with its very unpredictable conditions.
  • Please know that your steersperson will be steering in the races on Saturday and Sunday, but will not be doing so during the paddling workshop on Saturday.

Do we need a drummer?

  • Yes, every team is asked to bring a drummer. If your drummer is unable to attend, please let us know ASAP and we will try to find a replacement.
  • If we provide a drummer, we cannot guarantee she will be a breast cancer survivor

Do our drummer and steersperson need to be BCP?  

  • Yes, if you wish to vie for medals in the LCDBF BCP Division Races on Sunday, everyone on your boat must be BCP, including your drummer and steersperson.
  • Yes, if you wish to count SAH as an ERDBA race.

How can I honor, commemorate or celebrate a loved one with a Tribute Flag?

  • Tribute flags will be available for a donation where you can honor, commemorate or celebrate a BCS survivor, warrior and loved one. 
  • Your personalized cloth tribute flags will be hand created and flown throughout the weekend.